Newly published study assesses the role of mobile phone communication in drought-related mobility patterns of Samburu pastoralists


“For pastoral communities living in arid Northern Kenya, mobility is a primary means of managing livestock in response to climate variability and drought. Access to a diversity of drought refuge areas for livestock is important to Samburu pastoralists’ herding strategies. The rapid diffusion of mobile phone technology over the last decade raises the question of whether this new means of communication has enabled pastoralists to navigate risks in new ways that alter the geography of drought-related mobility in pastoral societies. Despite rapid diffusion and widespread use over the last decade, we find that mobile phones communication up to now has not substantially influenced the changing pattern of drought-related livestock mobility. The complexity of forage assessments and lack of trust within wider social networks limited the use of mobile communication in navigating drought and other risks” Asaka & Smucker (2016).

Read the article here

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